Binge Eating Disorder and Self-Harm

March 10, 2016 Star LaBranche

Recent studies have revealed that people with eating disorders often engage in self-harm.1 Self-harm is defined as non-lethal harm done to the self. It can include minor burns, cutting the skin, or even knowingly engaging in the symptoms of the eating disorder. People with binge eating disorder might engage in self-harm.

Self-Harm Can Be A Symptom of Binge Eating Disorder

Mental health problems, such as binge eating disorder, can lead to self-harm behaviors.
Since my binge eating disorder is comorbid with my bipolar disorder, I have self-harmed in the past and, unfortunately, still struggle with it. I didn't really think about how my self-harm related to my eating disorder until I realized just how much guilt and shame I felt about my lack of control over my eating and my body.

Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms As Self-Harm

There is a link between binge eating disorder and self-harm. Binge eating disorder can become part of the self-harm if not kept in check. Read this.

It never occurred to me that part of my eating could be considered self-harm until, one night, I was planning out my evening. It went something like this, I'm going to go home, do my school work, then watch some Netflix and eat until it hurts. It's possible for anyone to eat until they feel physical discomfort or even pain. But since my gastric sleeve weight loss surgery, it doesn't take much for me to overfill my sleeve.

I don't always overeat with the intent to hurt myself. But far too often, I find myself craving the feeling of not just being full, but being full to the point of experiencing reflux and pain.

Things I Did to Help Curb My Self-Harm Behavior Related to Binge Eating Disorder

When I realized I was self-harming due to my binge eating disorder and with my binge eating disorder symptoms, I knew I had to make some changes. I started by discussing this behavior with my binge eating disorder therapist. I also asked for support from my binge eating support system.

Finally, I started using self-talk to remind myself that overeating and binging will just end with me in pain and discomfort. Sometimes the self-talk works and I amend my behavior, but sometimes it doesn't and I still feel out of control.

When this happens, I remind myself that this is just a setback and it doesn't have to define the rest of my life or even the rest of my day. I will have many other chances to get it right. Just because I had a problem, that doesn't mean I have to give up.

1 Eating Disorders and Self-Harm: A Chaotic Intersection

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APA Reference
LaBranche, S. (2016, March 10). Binge Eating Disorder and Self-Harm, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Star LaBranche

Beached Whale
March, 11 2016 at 12:57 am

When I'm bingeing it's usually for emotional reasons. I was so disgusted with myself 2 weeks go that I'm ashamed to say I carved the words fat pig into my stomach [moderated].
When I do diet I'm often very restrictive which isn't at all realistic or sustainable. I've been on a diet for 2 weeks now and have lost 10 pounds drinking a protein shake (only 190 calories) in the morning and one in the evening. I don't eat lunch and I've been going to water areobics twice a week. So far I feel fine. I know it's not paricularly healthy but I don't care anymore. At 283 pounds I'm desperate to get this weight off. I'm also bipolar and the medication I'm on is suppose to be weight neutral but I've gained over 50 pounds since I've been on this stuff because it makes me so damn tired that all I wanna do is sleep when I'm not working
The only true way to lose weight is diet and exercise. Energy out has to be greater than the energy in

March, 11 2016 at 10:42 am

I have gone through this after a major disappointment or severe criticism that made me feel that no matter what I did I would never achieve my goals. In other words I was totally discouraged and disillusioned.

Kate Goodriver
July, 8 2018 at 10:21 am

My binge eating is nothing but an action i take to harm myself. By bingeing, i will remain fat and ugly. Because I am such a bad, worthless being, I should reamin fat and ugly. I do not deserve to be "okay" by being fit. I have to remain fat and ugly. It is my punishment for my existence itself is a sin. At the same time, binge eating give me a hope of early death. Binge eating will ruin my health, and in other words, it will allow me to shorten myself. It is a hope and a relief for me.
Although I suffer from binge eating, but it is a justified action again a person like me whose existence itself is a sin, and it is a a way to shorten one's life without actually killing myself under the definition of suicide.
All in all, binge eating balances all out and complete my inquiry of why I shouldn't live.

March, 28 2019 at 8:38 pm

Kate G, your words feel like my thoughts. I feel even more shame when I can't control myself after a binge & start cutting. Then I have to come up with lies to explain the scars. I don't cut as much as I need because of the prying questions, which sucks cuz sometimes nothing else provides relief. It's like a breath of fresh air. Feeling beyond stuffed, so soothing in an odd way. I feel no way out. One day I just won't wake up?

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